Three Gorges Speedcruise

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Flag of China  , Hubei,
Monday, April 26, 2010

We were met at 7am by a man that would walk us to the bus station to make sure we got on the right bus for our Marathon day that I was already hating as there was just too much potential for things to go wrong.

We boarded the bus with Rorie and Erica not concerned at all and Emer and I full of paranoia watching the luggage doors like hawks to make sure no one was theiving our bags. The scenery had again been fantastic with loads of hills and rice paddies, Chairman Mao would still be proud of just how much land is being used productively. After a four hour bus ride we still hadnt arrived then the bus driver pulled over for petrol (we expected the bus to take 4 hours and we still didn't seem to even be near the town and we still had to get from the bus to the ferry. Then a man told us the bus driver said we had to get off and get into a taxi? It all started to feel like one of those travel experiences where things were falling to pieces and we were now getting ripped off. Two taxis happened to be waiting for us, and a fellow passenger translated were we wanted to go to. We paid the preagreed 1 pound each even though the metre only got to 2 pound in total but we appeared to be in the right place. The driver was shouting "go go go". So we managed to board the Hydrofoil at Wanxian (there are 3 per day and we didn't appear to be booked on any particular boat). We managed to board the boat which soon set off flying down the Yangtze. The fog was terrible so the early pictures are disasterous. We were again the only toursists on the boat as most tourists take the 3 or 4 day option.

The gorges were abosolutely amazing and I can only imagine how nice they were before the Yangtze Dam was built (my Mum and Dad visited at this time). We were told by a chinese man who lived in London for a while (he was taking photo's for the ferry company to try and get more tourists to use this service) that the dam raised water levels by 100m which sounds unbelievable but I do remember Mum and Dad saying just how many people would be displaced. The boat took 6.5 hours and the time on board just flew by.

We finally arrived at the dam where we would disembark and board another bus to Yichang from Tai Ping. A real commotion as they couldn't fit us on any buses but we did end up being able to get on one all sat seperatly. Another hour later and completely knackered we staggered off the bus in Yichang (Another population of 4.1 Million). Unbelievably despite all the unknowns and variable a little man ran over to us, at first we thought he was begging or something but sure enough out of his pocket came a piece of paper which when unfolded had Andrew written upon it. He put us in two taxis and sent us to another hotel overlooking the Yangtze.

We went for a walk to find something to eat and were amazed by the number of fish tanks, chicken cages, people descaling fish on the pavement etc. Anther insight into the chinese old school. Really really interesting. I think we are partically dreading and partially looking forward to seeing other tourists as travel should be easier but the big cities have very little of the traditional life.

Also dissapointingly Rorie and Emer had lost their Ipod touch with wireless internet connection so this took a bit of a shine off what had been an incredible day or two. Like they say though if it takes us 10 months to lose something of value (of which we hardly have anything) we would not be too distraught.

We got another early night as the man was meeting us at 7am (although Erica is obsessed she is meeting him at 06:30 and he is taking her for breakfast).
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